Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Healthy Children, Healthy Communities

Healthy communities exist when residents can enjoy easy access to fresh affordable foods and children have safe places where they can play and be physically active. Yesterday, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, which has been hailed as a crucial step towards addressing fresh food access across the country. The law will set national nutritional standards for public schools and will boost funding for low-income meal programs.

In addition, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act will:
  • Give USDA the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools during the school day, including vending machines, the “a la carte” lunch lines, and school stores.
  • Help communities establish local farm to school networks, create school gardens, and ensure that more local foods are used in the school setting.
  • Increase the number of eligible children enrolled in school meal programs by approximately 115,000 students by using Medicaid data to directly certify children who meet income requirements.
  • Help certify an average additional 4,500 students per year to receive school meals by setting benchmarks for states.
  • Expand USDA authority to support meals served to at-risk children in after school programs.
The law will also play a critical role in reducing the childhood obesity epidemic, which has been championed by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign. At CSSP, we will be providing invaluable information for policy-makers and communities to learn more about results-based policy to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. Visit the homepage of to sign up for email updates.

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